axis Bursary Announcements 2021

By axisdirector
Tuesday, 6th July 2021
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Axis Ballymun is delighted to announce six artists who will be developing new work and ideas with Axis in 2021 via bursaries, a residency and a commission.

We are honoured that Pom Boyd, Felispeaks, Lorraine Maher, Jane Mc Carthy, Rosaleen McDonagh and Seán P. McLoughlin will be supported as they develop their respective scripts, ideas and programmes of engagement. Each artist will receive a bursary/commission fee as well as access to Axis’ suite of artist supports. Full artist biogs can be read below.

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Residency: Felispeaks’ residency will focus on the study of phenomenology in poetry performance, examining cultural synaesthesia and conditioning and how it can affect the impact of live poetry performance.

Bursaries: Jane McCarthy will develop a new play titled A Straw House that explores and expresses in a uniquely theatrical way, links between domestic violence and mental health. Rosaleen McDonagh will explore a number of works in development, with a view to further progressing one of these pieces as a draft play for staged reading. Seán McLoughlin will explore the development of two one person plays for theatre, Fairy Tongue and Street Flower with a view to showcasing to programmers and presenters.

Commissions: Pom Boyd will develop a new writing commission evolving from research into heritage and biodiversity. Lorraine Maher will develop her debut play, a monologue piece for film, drawing from personal and shared experiences of growing up and living in brown skin in small town Ireland.

Biographies (in alphabetical order)

Pom Boyd: In the mid-eighties Pom moved to New York where she studied at the Michael Howard Acting Studio and starred in several plays among them Da (Irish Arts Center) with the famous McCourt brothers Frank and Malachy. On returning to Dublin Pom starred opposite comedian Sean Hughes in the film Snakes and Ladders and acted in the seminal play produced by Rough Magic, Digging for Fire ,by Declan Hughes. Rough Magic also produced her first play Down onto Blue, which won a Stewart Parker award. During the nineties Pom also performed extensively on the emerging comedy scene. Her comedy show That Mad One with the Hair was a hit at the Dublin Theatre Festival and went on to play The Edinburgh Fringe and the Shaw Theatre in London. Most recently Pom has appeared with Brokentalkers Theatre Company in their highly acclaimed biting satire, This Beach and with TheatreClub in ‘It Was Easy in the End’ at the Abbey Theatre. SHAME which Pom made in collaboration with renown musician & composer Sean Millar (Sliver Stars) was presented at the Peacock Theatre for Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. The show was a Fringe Festival hit and nominated for three awards among them best performer for Pom. Pom a passionate environmentalist, is currently writing a new play about trees and can be seen in This Beautiful Village at the Abbey Theatre this September (2019).

Felispeaks is a Nigerian-Irish Poet, Performer, Playwright from Co. Longford. As well as being a member of the Dublin City Council's Culture Company Advisory Panel; Joined 2018, Felispeaks is a member of the Board of Members for Poetry Ireland; appointed June 2020. Felispeaks has been nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival Sep. 2018 Judges for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD’, a co-written play by Dagogo Hart and herself. Felispeaks has also had the opportunity to perform her poetry at Concern 50th Anniversary in Dublin Castle in September 2018 that included speakers such as UN Deputy SecretaryGeneral, Amina J. Mohammed, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, President Bill Clinton and Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. Felicia has also been honoured with an award by the (APNI) African Professional Network of Ireland for her unique contribution to the art scene in Dublin City, December 2017. Felispeaks is member of WeAreGriot, a poetry collective consisting of herself, Dagogo Hart & Samuel Yakura - curating poetry/rap events - Talkatives, writing plays - Felispeaks is currently enjoying creating poetry and performance pieces that always promise to introduce her audience to the journey of emotion in every story.

Jane McCarthy’s playwriting credits include: The Harvest (2018, 2019, national tour), an adaptation of Dicken’s The Signalman in Dec 2018, Amy, (2017), for the Bram Stoker Festival event Dead Air and Overtime (2012, 2013). In 2019 she was invited to join the annual Playwrights Workshop in The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, supported by Stewart Parker Trust. She was recently commissioned to write a monologue for publication in Fortnight, celebrating 50 years of the journal, published June 2020. Jane has an MA in Creative Writing & BA in English Literature from UCD, and is Co-Director of WitchWork Theatre Company (founded 2018), with Clara Purcell and Katie O’Kelly. In 2022 her adaptation of Edna O’Brien’s Girls in their Married Bliss, will embark on a tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland, produced by WitchWork TC.

Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability. Originally from Sligo, she is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children. She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years, managing the Violence Against Women programme, and remains a board member. She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and has written ostensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes Mainstream, The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings.Rosaleen was commissioned for a feature article in the Irish Times in 2012 responding to Channel 4’s series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In 2013/2014, she worked with Graeae Theatre on its WTP programme. As part of this project, she spent two weeks on attachment in The Royal Court Theatre. Her play Mainstream was directed by Olivier Award winner, Jim Culleton, for Fishamble and Project Arts Centre in 2016. In 2018, Fishamble produced Rosaleen’s play Running Out of Road in the RHK to mark the first anniversary of Traveller Ethnicity recognition. Rosaleen has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, an MPhil in Ethnic & Racial Studies & an MPhil in Creative Writing, all from TCD. She holds a PhD from Northumbria University. May 2020 commissioned by The Abbey Theatre to develop “Walls and Windows” from the Dear Ireland series. Contentious Spaces commissioned by Project Arts Centre 2020/2021. Skein Press publishing collection of fiction titled “Unsettled”. Rosaleen was appointed to The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in May 2020. She is also a member of Aosdana. Presently Rosaleen’s piece Walls & Windows is being commissioned for a production in The Abbey Theatre. Contentious Spaces has also been commissioned by The Projest Arts Centre for production in 2021. With Skein Press Rosaleen’s collection of essays will be published September 2021.

Lorraine Maher is an experienced Community Cultural Advisor and Arts Producer,  a county Tipperary native now living in London. She is the creator and driving force behind IamIrish a global movement that connects, supports, advocates and highlights Irish people of Mixed ethnicity the project launched in 2016 with #IamIrish a visual art exhibition and cultural engagement project that has featured in programmes in London, New York, Galway and beyond. She recently created, curated and produced the Irish Roots festival online that celebrated Irish Mixed Race and Multiracial Families. Throughout her career Lorraine has worked in a variety of roles, from being Out of School Arts Manager at Camden Council an inner City London Borough ) to heading up Community Development  at International flagship for the Arts the London Roundhouse. Lorraine enjoys a portfolio career she Is currently Participation Manager at Cleanbreak Theatre Company ,She has recently completed An Artists residency at Axis Ballymun. Lorraine provides consultation, training and strategic support  around inclusivity, diversity,  representation, engagement and programme development she is current working with Village Underground, Irish Arts Center New York, London Irish Centre, Power Play Productions, Noise Music a collaboration between CONTACT Studios and Music Generation South Dublin. When not trying to unite the world Lorraine can be found creating apple pie with her grandchildren and bribing Kitty Brown a local snobby community cat with treats in exchange for snuggles.

Sean P. McLoughlin As a young boy growing up in Artane, Sean wrote compulsively winning many awards for his poetry and short stories. He began writing plays seriously when he was twenty eight much to the encouragement of Author and playwright Aodhan Madden. Noah and the Tower Flower was his first play and was produced by Fishamble: The New Play Company at Axis theatre. It received the Irish Times best new play award and the Stewart Parker trust award. Fishamble subsequently produced Sean’s 4th play, The Bruising of Clouds in 2013 as part of the Dublin theatre festival, and in April of 2016 he made his Abbey debut with Tina’s Idea of fun. Both plays received outstanding reviews and lots of lovely letters from the general public. In conjunction with Axis theatre and as part of his newly awarded bursary with the aforementioned theatre, Sean would like to introduce Fairy Tongue and its sister piece Street Flower, to theatre companies sometime in the next couple of months. Sean will also be using the time to complete an audio book as well as another stage play loosely based on legendary Haitian American painter, Jean Michel Basquiat.

Axis Ballymun are grateful to The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon for their ongoing support of our programmes to resource artists